Shakib Al Hasan’s agro farm workers demand pending wages

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, around 170 people gathered for a protest in Satkhira on Monday; dues are expected to be cleared in 10 days.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan might miss out on the India tour.

Shakib Al Hasan owns a 14-acre agro farm in the Burigoalini area of Satkhira district in Bangladesh.   -  Getty Images

Around 170 workers from Shakib Al Hasan Agro Farm Limited — for crab and swamp eel — blocked the Munshiganj-Nildumur road in Shyam Nagar area of Satkhira district to protest unpaid wages on Monday.

The 14-acre farm in the Burigoalini area of the district is owned by the international cricketer. Due to the pandemic, business hit rock bottom and the shipments stopped in January. The farm shut and released 80 per cent of the work force.

Shakib’s partner, Sahagir Hossain Pavel, had informed the workers that their dues would be cleared by April 30, but the workers took to the streets to protest mostly because of the financial stress.

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Kamrul Islam, member of the Burigoalini Union Parishad, confirmed to Sportstar that a lot of senior workers are yet to receive their wages.

“They do not have any income now that the whole world is under a lockdown. Since they are not receiving any money from anywhere, they decided to demand for their wages.

“Today, we were convinced that the amount will be paid in 10 days. I think they are going to pay some amount tomorrow and the rest in the remaining days. The financial pressure is mostly due to the COVID-19 situation,” he said.

The mass gathering also broke the social distancing norm to curb the spread of coronavirus. Rapid Action Battalion had to intervene to disperse the crowd.

We understand that Shakib knew the due date. Learning about the protest, he is hurrying up to clear the wages.

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In March, the Shakib Al Hasan Foundation had started an initiative of helping the affected communities in Bangladesh. He had even urged his team-mates to auction off their bats, jerseys and other equipment to help the poor.

Burigoalini Union Parishad chairman Vabatosh Kumar Mondol had rushed to the spot when the incident happened. “They requested me that I look into the matter. I spoke to the manager. Shakib is now in USA with his family but we have seen that he is raising money and doing a lot of good things for corona victims.

"Though he is currently facing an ICC ban, he remains our asset. The crowd, also comprising women, had gone to the farm to request for their own money. There will be a meeting with the workers on Thursday. We will send a letter too.

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“One more thing I would like to add; though the farm is registered under Shakib, we have never seen him here but we heard that he had been here once after the ban. But we were not informed about it. We haven’t seen him in three years. Pavel takes care of the farm. So if there is a problem, he needs to solve it," said Mondal.

Pavel took stock of the situation and immediately reported the matter to Shakib.

“Shakib has instructed to clear all the dues although we had previously informed the labourers that we will clear their dues by April 30 and Shakib was also aware of that. It was really an unexpected incident that took place yesterday and we are shocked,” he was quoted as saying by The Daily Star.

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